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Where is your common sense in judging tax payers?

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Oprah earned $222,000,000 last year. She likely paid a lower percentage in taxes than you or I did. Do you hate her for being intelligent enough to become wealthy and give mega money to the charities of her choice (many of them are outside the United States) rather than the government?

Do you despise Romney or Brad Pitt for being wealthy and giving their money to the charities of their choice?

Do you feel people lose their common sense during the months prior to Presidential elections in political debate?

Comments

tange 1 year, 7 months ago

Charity in the modern age: the short list eclipsing the gulf.

/ window redressing

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Paul R Getto 1 year, 7 months ago

The world is divided into thirds. The first rarely eats well; the second hopes for clean and flavorful food; we, the fortunate few, grow fatter, gripe about the celery's crispness, and seek to define charity. Gonna be a long several weeks talking about individuals and not community. Too bad. Shanti.

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 7 months ago

"At some point, you've made enough money." From a Frank Marshall Davis-influenced source.

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Agnostick 1 year, 7 months ago

Okay, here ya go:

"The rules apply to the companies which have already received or will get future payments of at least $250 million in bailout money. For example, Miller reports, a top-level manager making a million dollars a year could only receive bonus of $500,000. And if he or she gets stock options, they can't cash them in until the company pays the government back."

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-4803192.html

Really??? F'n REALLY?!?!?!?!? ONLY $500,000???

You wanna talk "common sense?"

Tell me where the "common sense" is in THAT s--t!!!!

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verity 1 year, 7 months ago

"When was the last time Brangelina, Oprah, Lindsay or Brittney were given a government bailout?"

Good point, Ag. Once again apples and oranges being compared.

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Agnostick 1 year, 7 months ago

Now, when the handbasket went straight to Hell in 2008... here's the rocket fuel that got it there:

I suppose if we were really the dedicated, intelligent, informed consumers and investors we should be... we would all turn off our televisions, our DVD players, our music, and close up our popular books... and devote hours upon hours of our free time studying all this. We'd promote and support "The Wall Street Network" or "Finance!TV" and catch up on all the latest wheeling and dealing of our darling investment bankers, fund managers, venture capitalists, etc.

"This is the true story... of seven stockbrokers... picked to work and live in an investment house...work together and have every detail of every deal revealed to the world... to find out what happens... when Wall Street stops being secretive... and starts getting real with the rest of us...that live in The Real World."

When was the last time Brangelina, Oprah, Lindsay or Brittney were given a government bailout?

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Agnostick 1 year, 7 months ago

Of course the media has an impact on things! Like it or not, we are the media! We consume, and we generate it, as well.

I don't despise anyone for being rich--but I have no respect for those that take unfair advantage.

I know how Oprah got rich. We all know, because whether you admit it or not, we all watched her get rich, and we helped her get there. We all watched her talk show at some point, during its 25-year run on television. She's acted in movies... she's written and co-written books. Now, there's a magazine and a television network.

Pretty much the same with Brad Pitt. We see him in his movies. Has every movie been an Oscar-winner? No--but we still go to the theaters, we still rent and buy the discs to watch at home, we still watch them on the cable networks.

[This might be a good point to remind you all, by the way, to look for these folks the next time you're waiting in line at your favorite retail outlet. Look at the tabloids, and ask yourself, "When's the last time I saw a hedge fund manager on the front page?" When's the last time you saw a feature story in The Enquirer titled, "Portfolio Managers Who Let Their Bodies Go" Guess which firm this butterball works at?? ---> ]

Yes, they are rich. We see, we know exactly how it was done. We helped them get there. One show, one episode, one movie, one book at a time.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 7 months ago

JAFS he had the votes to do it his way.

He is not proposing even returning to the pre Bush rates fot the monied interests. Many people on here, including as I recall you, argue for elimination of all of the "Bush Tax Cuts". That would not restore the rich to the pre-Reagan rates but it would in fact be a tax increase above any previous tax level for the upper middle - $69K- $150K Why? Do they not pay enough already??

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jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

The ad about Romney's tax rate is about the difference between Obama's and Romney's policies.

Romney's plan would decrease his taxes and increase taxes on the middle class, while Obama's would do the reverse.

Also, as far as the Bush tax cuts that Obama continued, he wanted to remove them for top earners and continue them for lower ones, but R opposition forced him to choose to either continue them in their entirety or get rid of them.

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verity 1 year, 7 months ago

http://truth-out.org/news/item/11129-the-conservative-psyche-how-ordinary-people-come-to-embrace-paul-ryans-cruelty

Scientific research into the way we think explains the reasons decent people wind up supporting horrific policies.

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jonas_opines 1 year, 7 months ago

"Armstrong and Hoots, it's nice to see you have the common sense that eluded Kat and Bea in discerning the blog topic."

I have to say, Rhonda, that if you legitimately think this is true, based on the quality of these people's responses, then the problem might be your own current allotment of common sense.

Nothing makes a bias more apparent or seem larger than viewing it through the lens of another entrenched, personal bias, you know.

"Do you feel people lose their common sense during the months prior to Presidential elections in political debate?"

Yes. You've illustrated that, but perhaps not in the manner in which you intended.

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LadyJ 1 year, 7 months ago

Reminds me of a discussion my sister and I had the other day. Is it the person you hate or their actions? Think about it. If they behaved in a way you liked, you would then like them, or is it their behavior you like? Kind of like relatives, you love them because they are family, but you can't deal with them or be around them.

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beatrice 1 year, 7 months ago

You know what I hate? Strawman arguments that are nothing more than quasi-political attacks.

If someone is against abortions of any sort, including in cases of rape, would it be correct to ask that person: Do you hate rape victims? Wouldn't the better question in such a case be: Do you hate the laws that allow people to get abortions?

That isn't what we find here. Instead, it is specific -- do you despise certain individuals, like that could be the only reason you are against the taxes they pay.

Ronda, it isn't about the people, it is about the policies. It is a shame you won't acknowledge this fact.

Oh, and yes, I do believe people lose their common sense during an election period. I most certainly do.

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George Lippencott 1 year, 7 months ago

Toimato grower said:

Where has anyone said any of what you imply. Quit putting words in people's mouths, Oprah and Romney should both be paying the same rate or more than a poor person. Capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as the waitress' pay.

Moderte Opined:

Capital Gains are already taxed more than a waitress is. For the wealthy they should be taxed more - much more.

Oprah and Romney should be taxed a lot more. maybe at least twice as much on the margin

Why do so many of you want to tax the upper middle so much more by eliminating the Bush tax "cut ne increase".. see: http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/loyal-opposition/2012/aug/24/another-tax-deception-the-bush-tax-incre/

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rockchalker52 1 year, 7 months ago

Rich bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others. - Oscar Wilde

Ever wonder why the IRS calls it Form 1040? Because for every $50 that you earn, you get 10 and they get 40. - anonymous

I'm proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is—I could be just as proud for half the money. - Arthur Godfrey

The tax collector must love poor people, he's creating so many of them. - Bill Vaughan

It is a good thing that we do not get as much government as we pay for. - Will Rogers

Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today. - Herman Wouk

The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward. - John Maynard Keynes

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. - Winston Churchill

Isn't it appropriate that the month of the tax begins with April Fool's Day and ends with cries of 'May Day!'? - Rob Knauerhase

Instead of taking the pants off the taxpayer it might be better to take the vest off the vested interests. - Mark Twain

The IRS has turned the American people into the largest group of liars in the history of history. - Harold Harmon.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

J, I agree. The more simple and straightforward the better. Life isn't fair, taxes aren't fair, death isn't fair.... They just are. I like the idea of a set percentage for all - and free health care for all....

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

Frankie, I just read your response about the novel. I agree that it is a creative and cool way to go through life - a camera in your hand. It was a terrific way for the character to tell her story.

But look at it this way, you can also look at things as though you have a camera in your hands. Just allow yourself to be objective and a bit off center. Let me know how that works for you. Now I need to locate your blog!

As far as your Spanish goes.... It's better than mine. Love Robin Williams.....

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

"Fair", in the context of taxes, is a concept that there will never be consensus on. Never. I doubt seriously that we will ever have even a simple plurality agree what constitutes "fair". I would suggest that when discussing taxes, leave that undefined, ill conceived, ambiguous notion out of the discussion. Decide how much to collect and then collect it. Twenty percent from everyone, thirty percent, whatever.

Open the Pandora's box of deductions at your own peril, for once deductions begin, they will never end. KISS (Keep It Simple, S*).

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

Exactly, Larry and Roe. If businesses can't afford to hire and/or have to lay people off because their business is failing, for whatever reason, it isn't benefiting the economy. Higher taxes absolutely hurt small businesses and those start up businesses.

And I just said I'm for raising taxes! It's a mixed bag - no wonder no one seems to be able to stop the debt snowball effect.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

Tomato, how are your tomatoes growing this year? I've had rotten luck this year and last.

I'm not upset about anything, I'm merely putting a topic out for discussion. I believe taxes should be raised so generations following us don't have this insane deficit hanging over their heads. It's time to reel it in and get real. And spending must be slowed down. And no more war, please.

LadyJ, Roe does like it hot....and he's stirring things up too! He's quite good at that.

As to your question about Oprah's giveaways: ;loosely para phrased) New York Post's John Crudele says this: Oprah gave away 300 2112 VW Beetles last year. Her 'people' made a good faith estimate of tax owed and paid it on the recipients' behalf.

Of course in reality, these are not gifts from Oprah, but promotions between Oprah's show and different companies. If the items were gifts and under $13,000, then they would be tax free.

One needs to remember that each person who received the 'gifts' falls into a different tax bracket depending on their personal situation - the 'gifts' could end up putting them in a higher tax bracket.

Let's face it, they still come out ahead. ;()

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RoeDapple 1 year, 7 months ago

Where I'm coming from is last year when Oprah did her "final" show it was reported 250 employees were laid off. 1/3 of her total employees. This would indicate there are 500 tax paying jobs that, should Oprah no longer be among the living, would be unemployed/looking for work. That's a lot of tax dollars she generates just by being her.

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RoeDapple 1 year, 7 months ago

How many jobs exist because Oprah . . . is Oprah? Same with Romney, Obama, Gates (Bill), Rockefeller, Etc.? If you add up all the taxes collected because these people (and other wealthy people) make jobs by their very existence, then how many tax dollars does someone like Oprah truly generate?

Okay, this can of worms is officially opened.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm not sure if this blogger is upset, because people want to see Romney's tax returns, but not Oprah's. There is a huge difference here. Oprah is not running for office. And, yes, I do think she should pay more in taxes, than someone making $50,000/year. I will probably be in the higher tax rate if anyone has the balls to raise taxes, or we get rid of the war time tax cuts. But I'm ok with that. Does this tell you where I stand? I think we need to pay for these wars, whether or not we agreed with them. Especially before we get caught up in another war.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

Btw, Rock, I'd pay you good hard cash (so you can bypass the taxman) to ad a Beatles time to my blogs to lighten the mood and make my bitty black dried out heart breathe easier for a couple of minutes. Harrison is an absolute favorite. Thank you.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

Oh oh I'm the taxman. I'll tax the pennies on your eyes.... Taxman. Thanks, jay52

Let us remember many fab entertainers live in the US because our taxes are lower than other places.

Back to the material at hand, which is quickly becoming fodder for my rose bushes - so.... I say testing the murky waters cautiously, gingerly....Kat (may I call you such) do you hold the same feelings towards all tax payers and evaders whether entertainer or politician?

Maybe you've already answered that - my mind goes blank when I don't observe a great amount of white space per square space on site.

Frankie.....I take it you've become my new editor? I've won the lottery! The Irish lottery!

LadyJ, want to come to our next backyard event and befriend me?

Guess_again - succinct. I like that about you....succinct.

I may try writing a semi political blog and ask that people reply with one word responses, but even that frightens me.

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rockchalker52 1 year, 7 months ago

DunnoWhaChurTalkinBout so here's a vid about the taxman:

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 7 months ago

I cannot understand why anyone would not vote for President Obama. He is Intelligent, articulate and competent. He thinks about all the consequences before he either acts or makes a statement. He knows how to talk to international leaders with respect and courtesy, and they respond favorably to that. He has gravitas. He can be totally focused and serious or he can give that marvelous smile and crack a joke. He is a wonderful husband and father.
Michele married him.

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beatrice 1 year, 7 months ago

Ronda, you are mistaking a dislike of the system that favors the wealthy expressed by me and Katara for the dislike of the wealthy people themselves. Regarding who are we to judge whether or not a charitable contribution is worthy, I am an American who much help subsidize the tax breaks given to contributors. I believe that gives me every right to judge the worthiness of a contribution. I do believe giving tax breaks to people who give money to build castles is unworthy of tax breaks and I feel fully justified in making that statement as a tax payer. It has nothing to do with Romney's party or how he makes his money. I don't feel it justified when Harry Reid does it and I don't agree with it when Tom Cruise (actor) gets a tax break for giving to the Church of Scientology.

I also don't agree in giving a $77,000 tax break for buying a fancy horse. The system that allows this to be a tax break is what I dislike. I do not dislike the person for taking advantage of the system that allows it any more than I dislike the horse itself. It is the type of tax break given to those who do not deserve them that is the issue. Wanting to give even further breaks on this order is a mistake, in my opinion.

Also, wealth isn't always gained through one's intelligence. Sometimes it is gained by having no feeling about exploiting other human beings. Of course, sometimes it is gained through hard work and intelligence ... but not always. Sometimes it is inherited. It truly is much easier to score a run if you are born on third base in a country that has a system that favors those born on third base. I do not believe there should be a difference in how you make your money, it should be taxed equally. If you make your moeny from labor, why is that taxed at a higher rate than if you make your money from cashing dividend checks? That makes no sense to me.

Unless people actually claim to hate or despise a certain class, then it is clear you are making judgments about others that is unwarranted and inaccurate. It isn't "the rich," it is the system that upholds the rich over others that is the issue. I don't see why you need to personalize it.

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LadyJ 1 year, 7 months ago

Boy Ronda, some people just can't play nice. Yes, this election will be truly interesting.---- Do the doo----- sorry, couldn't help it. Here's a website that may help you decide on the manure thing. They also recommend the urine, but no way I'm going there.
http://floridagardener.com/manures/soilamend.htm

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

Larry,

I feel much as you about our choices this year. I'm undecided at this point. I am interested in watching debates - love, love, love debates. I believe the ones between our VP candidates will truly amuse me.

I also agree with you in that Romney shouldn't be blamed for following the tax code. Truly, who would not......

With interest the political wheels begin to churn, who flung poo at who and how much sticks. If only I could get some of that manure to my rose bed....is donkey doo or elephant doo the best poo doo? Ok, I'll stop

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Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 7 months ago

I like the attack ad against Romney for making $20 mil and only paying 14%. Are they claiming Romney is a tax cheat? No, he used the tax code and legally paid 14%. Who signed off on the current tax code? Should we not be angry at the person who signed off on a tax code that allows millionares to pay only14%? I could be mistaken but I believe our current president signed off on the tax codes that Romney used. When Obama extended the Bush tax cuts, it became evident that our president is not a man of his word. This being said, I am likely to vote for an untrustworthy Obama then a man controlled by right wing nut jobs.

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tange 1 year, 7 months ago

"God save the queen; she ain't no human being...."

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

No one earns The cosmos discerns A hill of beans or Three mansions it seems Gold plates and walls Gowns and balls to attend Another's chagrin a slap on the chin No life isn't fair But it is what we make Of it....so no more bemoaning I've a fish I'm deboning Left over stew Add spices, a few Tasty enough to set Before Romney, Oprah or Pitt They'd all get one lick

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

Phil, it's a rather mixed bag. People do get deductions for donating to charities of course, but from what I've read his donations were mostly cash which doesn't make them the best source for a tax write off. He also gives stock in his company. I tied the two together and that is why some people felt I was suggesting that those wealthy people who pay less taxes, by cheating or utilizing a tax attorney fully, however one views it, give more to charity. That seems to be the case with Oprah and other big name entertainers, but it isn't a given.

I'm more interested in the double standard people, who may be labeled as liberals, hold entertainers to as opposed to Republicans or politicians. I am not aware of anyone I know trying to pay a 'higher' tax rate. And there are people who don't donate to any charity. These days, some people can't afford even the most humble in offerings.

I believe there is an interesting psychological twist that goes on in the observer when it comes to someone else's accumulated wealth. If one who doesn't have wealth is in alliance with what the wealthy person does with their money, then the judgement is either not present or is much lower. For example, one who holds Oprah in high esteem thinks of her as a humanitarian because of all the assistance she has given to schools for girls in Africa. Another person, who doesn't watch her show or enjoy her personality,may think she's not doing nearly what she should be doing with her amassed wealth.

Ok, I'm going to go count pennies now before I go grocery shopping. ;()

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tange 1 year, 7 months ago

No human earns $222,000,000 a year.
Intelligence is independent of ability (or desire) to accumulate wealth.
Contempt and hatred amount to self-hewn stew; independent conclusions regarding the utilization of resources imply neither.

/ I'll take uncommon sense over common sense any day

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PhilChiles 1 year, 7 months ago

Hey, their tax bill is a different story. I thought we were talking about charity? I know that for Mitt, the big issue lately has been whether or not he pays his fair share of taxes; I haven't heard much about his donations to charity being controversial. The main criticism seems to be linked to the idea that he uses tax loopholes and other tricks to evade taxation, and charitable giving would be a slightly different issue That might make a good subject for another blog. If he gets tax deductions for charitable giving that benefits people it's ok with me.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

Fair enough Phil. Considering we all pay different tax amounts depending on our situation, it shouldn't be too difficult to comprehend that if Orah paid less that most tax payers, she isn't paying much compared to her percentage of worth. It's good you don't judge people negatively based on their tax bill.

Meggars, regardless, it's Romney's choice just as it should be, as it is for Pitt and as it is for Oprah.

Pitt donates to 'true' charity'. Who are we to judge that Pitt's choices are more deserving than a gift towards a temple or MS - which Romney's wife has.

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PhilChiles 1 year, 7 months ago

I don't have any idea how much Oprah paid in taxes, and apparently neither does the author. (If there was a fact in there stating otherwise, I missed it.) So it's a series of questions. I'll say that I definitely don't hate any of those people for giving to charity. That was easy!

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meggers 1 year, 7 months ago

I will just add that the Mormon church contributes little to real charity. Instead, they build temples and investments, often on the backs of poorer Mormons who are still expected to tithe 10% no matter their financial circumstances. To do otherwise means ostracization from the church.

CATO, The Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute all enjoy the same 'charity' status as a homeless shelter, food kitchen, or battered women's shelter. The irony is that the first three promote policies that require an increased need for real charity.

Brad Pitt has donated his time and money to true charity. Based on what little information he has provided, Mitt Romney has not.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

Armstrong and Hoots, it's nice to see you have the common sense that eluded Kat and Bea in discerning the blog topic. ;()

There is a very real bias by the press, democrats and liberals when it comes to whom they decide to judge as acceptable for what they do in or out of country with their mega millons.

This author 'implied' nothing about the weathier person (whether movie star, billionaire businessman, athlete) giving more or less to charities. That was an apparent judgement colored by your own thinking rather than what you read, Bea and Kat. But that's okay as I've misunderstood people and their intent before too.

I'm simply finding it interesting to note the acceptance by many of one group of people, such as entertainers, and not for other classes, or political parties.

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Ronda Miller 1 year, 7 months ago

RoeD, I've been feeling that way quite a bit these days as well.

Frankie8 (how's the novel - I keep forgetting to ask you....but then it is not as though i am seeing you ). Why the Spanish accent?

Bea and Kat, I do disagree. While I agree that hating, despising, fearing, and feelings of jealousy should not be emotions directed towards those who are wealthy (often times Republicans), they certainly are not uncommon ones for people to express.

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Hoots 1 year, 7 months ago

I agree the media has a huge bias when it comes to who has money. If you're a rich conservative you are portrayed as being evil but if you're a Hollywood type they portray them as wonderful. Many wealthy people give money in large sums to charity. Lets not forget these people in turn get huge tax deductions for doing so regardless of whether they're a Koch brother or Opera. The thing I find troubling is the people who will miss the money most pay a much higher effective rate. It's not like Opera will be eating Raman noodles if she has to pay a few million more a year in taxes.

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Armstrong 1 year, 7 months ago

If you lean to the left and are rich you are enlightened, you care, you are a forward thinker. Tthe same amount of money for right however, you stole it from the poor, inherited it ( unless you're Paris Hilton ), you are a scam artist. Oh the wonders of being on tv.

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beatrice 1 year, 7 months ago

I agree with Katara. Believing a class should pay a higher tax rate is not about hating those people. It is recognizing that we have given tax cuts during times of war and massive deficits. Why is investment income taxed at a lower rate than money made off of the sweat of one's brow? Don't both forms of income count as, you know, income? Also, if we are to pay off our deficits, it will not come from cuts in spending alone and it can't come off the backs of the poor. The poor, after all, are poor. They don't have the money.

Also, I do not believe anyone should get a tax break for giving money to a religion that maintains and builds castles:

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Katara 1 year, 7 months ago

I feel like this blog has no common sense.

It is interesting that the author chooses words such as "hate" & "despise" to describe people who feel that the rich should pay more in taxes. One can feel that wealthier people can pay more in taxes and not hate or despise the wealthy. Conversely, one can feel that social programs can be cut without hating or despising the poor (Unfortunately, that is not how that debate is framed in terms of social program cuts when those who desire the cuts label lower income folks as moochers or leeches.).

The author also sets up a false dichotomy - a wealthy person pays less in taxes but donates to charities or the wealthy person pays more in taxes and does not donate to charities. It is not an either/or situation and the author lacks common sense in trying to frame the issue as such.

Of course, the author also ignores the fact that one of the many reasons a wealthy person could pay a lower percentage in taxes is because of the amount of money donated to charitable causes as charitable donations are a tax deduction. Additionally, charitable donations are used quite often as a tax strategy. It serves the purpose of decreasing the tax liability and it also serves to generate good publicity for that particular person.

What really defies common sense is the general sense that the author is somehow implying that these wealthy people are better people because they have more money to do good things. There is the implication that they should be allowed to have the lower tax rate because they do good things with the "extra" money.

Anyway, research shows that lower income households donate a bigger percentage of their income to charity than do wealthier households. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/magazine/22FOB-wwln-t.html

I find that much more admirable than what Oprah, Brad Pitt and Mitt Romney do combined.

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RoeDapple 1 year, 7 months ago

Why do I feel I've been asked if I support the experienced idiot or the better qualified idiot?

;-)

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tange 1 year, 7 months ago

earn |ərn| verb ...

ORIGIN Old English earnian, from a base shared by Old English esne ‘laborer.’

— New Oxford American Dictionary


/ something "common" has been lost

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